CHOux Pastry – CROquembouche – Deconstructed

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I saw Croquembouche for the first time on Masterchef Australia about 4 years back. It was a challenge that was set for semifinals by the great terror Adriano Zumbo :)

Croquembouche is made of Choux pastry (pronounced as Shoe Pastry) filled with custard or whipped cream. It is then dipped in caramalised sugar, placed in a tower shape mould and packed together. It is then removed from the mould ones the caramalised sugar solidifies and sets. It comes out as a tower, if all works out well…

20140802-095409 pm-78849348.jpg It is then covered with spun sugar. It is then decorated with either edible flowers, chocolates or almonds.

Choux pastry is hollow and so light that it just bursts in your mouth. Poooof……
I love it just as is with light dusting of icing sugar.

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1/2 cup – water
1/4 cup – Unsalted butter
A pinch of salt
1 tBsp – Granulated sugar
1/2 cup – All purpose flour
2 – large eggs

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Place water, butter, sugar, and salt in a sauce pot over medium high heat. Stir until butter is melted and everything comes to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium. Add flour into the mixture all at once while stirring quickly. Continue to stir and cook off the moisture in the dough until it pulls away from the sides and starts to form into a ball. This should take about a minute.
Place the dough in a large bowl. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
With the hand mixer on medium-low speed, add eggs in one at a time. Do not add another egg until the one before has been completely absorbed into the batter. The batter will look smooth and glossy when ready. (Alternatively, you can mix in the eggs by hand. This just takes a bit longer. Mix each egg until completely absorbed before adding the next).
Place batter in a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip or a zip top bag with the tip cut off.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Line baking sheets with parchment.
Hold the pastry bag over the baking sheet and squeeze over one area until you have about a 2 inch round. Release the pressure from the bag and pull up to release the dough mound. You will have a little peak on the each that can be smoothed out with a wet fingertip. Keep the mounds about 2 inches apart,about 9 per baking sheet. (U can use any nozzel that you like. And you can pipe it in anyway you desire)
Place the baking sheet in the oven and turn to heat up to 210°C .Bake for 10 minutes (without opening the oven) then drop the heat down to 190°C and bake for 13-15 more minutes until the shells are crispy on the outside and set. It should sound hollow when you knock on them.

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Fill cooled pastries with vanilla custard or whipped cream and dust with powdered sugar or dip it in caramalised sugar and top it with spun sugar.

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I do not have a mould and hence i have made a deconstructed version. Hope to make the tower soon :)

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